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InfoQ Homepage News AWS Announces the General Availability of Amazon Omics

AWS Announces the General Availability of Amazon Omics


At re:Invent, AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Omics, a managed service for storage, analysis, and elaboration of genomic, transcriptomic, and other omics data. The service is designed for healthcare and life science organizations to enhance patient care and advance scientific research.

Amazon Omics provides scalable workflows and integrated tools for preparing and analyzing omics data and automatically provisions and scales the underlying cloud infrastructure. It has three primary components:

  • Omics-optimized object storage allows users to store and share petabytes of omics data efficiently. They can create data stores, import sample data in the Omics console, and do the same job in the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI).
  • Managed compute for bioinformatics workflows that allow users to run the exact analysis they specify without worrying about provisioning underlying infrastructure. They can use workflow languages like Workflow Description Language (WDL) and Nextflow, domain-specific languages that specify multiple compute tasks and their input and output dependencies.
  • Optimized data stores for population-scale variant analysis. Users can opt for a variant store that supports both variant call format files (VCF) where there is a called variant and gVCF inputs with records covering every position in a genome or an annotation store that supports either a generic feature format (GFF3), tab-separated values (TSV), or VCF file.


Channy Yun, a principal developer advocate for AWS, concludes after going thoroughly through the three Amazon Omics components in an AWS news blog post:

As you saw, Amazon Omics gives you a managed service with a couple of clicks and simple commands and APIs in analyzing large-scale omic data, such as human genome samples, so you can derive meaningful insights from this data in hours rather than weeks.

Furthermore, Yun stated that regarding data security, Amazon Omics helps ensure that data remains secure and patient privacy is protected with customer-managed encryption keys and HIPAA eligibility.

Sam Charrington, founder & principal analyst at CloudPulse Strategies, tweeted:

POV: same play as Security Lake. Specialized storage semantics, analytics, ML, and integrations. We'll be seeing even more like this. @awscloud #reInvent

In addition, Enrico Signoretti, head of research product strategy at GigaOm, tweeted:

A few years ago, it was all about compute, networks, and basic infrastructure services. Now everything is built around data and specialized analytics frameworks (storage, analytics, AI, and so on). Amazon Omics is the right example of this trend.  #aws #reInvent

And lastly, Holger Mueller, a principal analyst and vice president at Constellation Research Inc., told InfoQ:

Healthcare is a growing part of the GDP of all countries of the world, so technology providers are paying more and more attention to the industry and getting offerings out. And cloud, AI, and Bigdata can transform healthcare for better patient outcomes and more engaged healthcare workers. Today it’s AWS’s turn,  offering a platform for both enterprises and partners / ISVs to create their one 'omics' solution on top of the AWS Omics platform.

Amazon Omics is currently available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), and Europe (London) AWS regions.

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